Looking for streamer advice

I know. So what’s the actual difference between those ports? And, if the SOtM is “only for audio”, why are the other two USB ports even there?

A process which takes all of 10 minutes and no tools. You do have to copy RoPieee onto an SD card, which may be overmasteringly exotic for some. And I know that there are some folks who charge more than $350x6/hour for their time, so I can see that there may be a tiny market for pre-assembled versions.

The two other ports are there for USB storage. The SMS-200 can be used as a music server instead of a NAA and those ports are for media.

As for the differences in architecture between the DAC-only USB port and the storage USB ports, you would probably have to ask SOtM.

It is what it is. Some (many?) people would be very confounded and intimidated by setting up a Pi and would rather purchase an out of the box, plug and play solution. Others would have no problem setting up a Pi, and might even enjoy it. As they say, different strokes. I’m not sure where the disconnect is.

I prefer the RPi 4 in a FLIRC case for $79. I built three for $74 each, but the price has increased a little. It takes about 5 minutes to assemble and 10 minutes to download and install RoPieeeXL. Well worth the price difference to me. The FLIRC aluminum case looks great also.

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That’s always true. The question is whether it is what it claims to be – by costing 500% more than the Pi by itself.

I wonder if I’d get the same answer I’d get if I asked a California cult guru why his teaching is better than that of any mainstream Protestant church.

Actually, the Pi runs both of its USB ports and its Ethernet jack off the same bus, severely limiting bandwidth. The Pi is built to the lowest price point possible. Some people want something better than that. The SMS gives them something with at least two independent USB channels with higher throughput. Is it audible? Who knows. But there is a lot of utility in the plug and play SMS that isn’t present in a Pi that you have to cobble together yourself. Is it worth the higher price? That’s for each consumer to decide for themselves and their pocketbook. Different strokes. This repetition is getting boring for me, so this is my last word on the subject.

Yep, the Pi 3 does. They fixed that in the current Pi, the Pi 4.

That’s what this whole discussion is about. How do you know that the SOtM sMS-200 is better than the Pi? What’s better about it? Specifically?

How do you know that? What if it just copies the design of the Pi? How do you know?

Good point. I, for one, doubt it.

A regular Pi 4 is pretty much plug-and-play, too. OK, it comes “knocked down”, and you have to fit the 4 parts together, but that by itself doesn’t justify a 500% price premium.

Again, I’m looking for actual information, not prejudice, so that’s probably OK.


He is prejudice? Lol :joy: . Do you not like the ultrarendu as well? What about even more expensive streamers? Is the pi just as good as those too? Have you ever heard the SOTM or are you just assuming it’s not worth the extra price because it won’t sound better?

There’s no way to “hear” a digital transducer. One could measure it, if one had the proper test equipment, which I don’t.

I’m assuming it won’t “sound” at all. But to take the bother of even considering it, I’d need some comprehensible argument as to why it’s better than a Pi 4. Right now, the only fact I know is that it costs more. The cloud of marketing fluff on the Web page makes me speculate it’s not much different, if at all. All I’ve been hearing here is, “I have one, and it works.” But you see, that’s not an argument as to why it’s better.

Not like? What make you think I “don’t like” something or another? This isn’t a matter of “like”. It’s about not wasting resources. It’s due diligence on purchasing decisions.

Read up:

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Well since you have never used one, you simply cannot say if it sounds better, or even different, then a pi. If you simply believe that bits are bits and that all streamers, and DACs sound identical then there is nothing anyone can say to convince you otherwise and that is fine with me. My suggestion was to the OP anyway, not to you. The fact remains that you have never used the SOtM, or the Sonore devices and compared them to your pi, but I have and I noticed an improvement in sound quality over the pi, along with many others. Regardless of what you say, you cannot be even remotely certain that a device you have never used or listened to won’t sound any different then your pi.


Wrong. Just say something substantive.

Wrong. It’s an ARM device that takes bits from Ethernet and puts them out over USB using the Roon Bridge software. Ethernet and USB are standardized. So I’m pretty sure I know exactly what it “sounds” like, because I know what another very very similar device sounds like, and there’s no evidence of any significant difference between them.

Still waiting for the evidence.

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Thanks! That’s a good start. Unfortunately, while several people on the review thread ask him to compare it directly to the Pi, he doesn’t do that anywhere. So I believed you when you said that it worked, and this just shows that it works. Still don’t see any reason to pay an extra $375 dollars for it. Still no evidence it’s any better.

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ha ha, yup. That is pretty much what I was getting to. Same type of arguments that go one about cables, network switches, power supplies and sometimes even DACs. They never get anywhere, so you gotta just move on. Thanks for reminding me

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Hey, don’t waste my time! If you don’t have anything to say, why keep talking about it?

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Let me try to help clear the disagreement. @Bill_Janssen is basically following the Carl Sagan principle that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. I’m personally satisfied by blind tests I conducted that different USB sources can affect the sound of some DACs differently. But vendors who claim superior performance from their USB sources could easily do noise floor and distortion measurements for their sources in comparison with a basic Pi 4B when connected to suitable DACs. The fact that they (for the most part) do not makes @Bill_Janssen (and me) naturally suspicious that they are selling something else than actual technical benefits. After all, the biggest issue with USB sources is electrical noise that leaks into the analog side of a DAC and could thus be easily seen — if is there — on a noise floor analysis. Even other bad interactions between the USB source and the DAC’s USB receiver should appear in those measurements as noise or distortion. If they don’t, any claimed difference could only be due to a really badly designed or built DAC USB receiver whose synchronous bitstream output to the actual digital-to-analog circuitry is somehow sensitive to the timing characteristics of the USB asynchronous stream. I’d still be hoping for some real evidence rather than marketing blurbs, though.

And probably should. But even without that, they could at least make some argument about why their expensive equivalent is better. The lack of any justification of any kind, for the 500% mark-up, is what surprised me.

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